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The Indian Bat 2

By | November 2012
Page 1 of 2
2The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) is a brown to grayish bat which is listed as an endangered species due to population loss and habitat destruction. Its known range extends from the northern panhandle of Florida through Alabama and Georgia, north to cover all of Tennessee, parts of Western Virginia, and Northern Arkansas, along with all of Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, southern Michigan, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York. It also has been found in some of the smaller states such as New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The Indiana Bat is hard to distinguish from other related bats due to its similarities, especially a close relative of the Indiana Bat called the ‘little brown bat’. However the way they are told apart most often is the size of their feet, the length of the hairs on their toes, and also that instead of having black lips, theirs are pink. The Indiana Bat usually grows up to 2 inches and can weigh as much as a fourth of an ounce, additionally they live up to nine years in the wild, however some can live nearly double that amount of time – the record being 14 years. Its variations in color are often more brownish, however they can range from a lighter grayish color to a dark black.

It is estimated that since the mid 70’s the population of the bat has been decimated, and is only at 50% of pre 1970’s levels today. The current estimated population is under but close to 250,000, and nearly 23% of that population hibernates in Indiana in just a few caves. When hibernating they will cluster into very tight groupings, and will live in caves that provide only the most optimal of conditions for their winter sleep. Although it has a large range and overlaps with its close relative the Gray Bat, it has a significantly smaller population caused by destruction of colonies, pesticides, and the loss of habitat in the clearing of woodland for housing subdivisions and other habitat losses. The Indiana Bat is threatened by the WNS (white nose...

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